My affiliation with NOHVCC (National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council) brought me to the yearly NOHVCC conference as the CT state partner. This year it was in Folsom, CA. I spent 4 days with like minded OHV enthusiasts from all over the country and Canada. Some of them being state partners of NOHVCC and others being reps from Polaris, Yamaha, Honda and other organizations like the AMA and educational programs.
In these 4 days of nonstop work shops, presentations and success stories, I realized that CT is not in any way different in it's issues with OHV use. In fact, I found that we had more in common with the state of Colorado than we do with our neighbor, Massachusetts. The amount of information and support I had gotten form these individuals is staggering and it all came to a general consensus. No matter what type of OHV you use, that state will only think of your as motorized or non-motorized.
With that being said, a fundamental piece is missing from our efforts to create public riding areas and trails. A state wide OHV coalition. I use the term coalition because there are well established clubs in CT and a coalition will prevent them from loosing their identity. Creating a coalition in CT will prevent wiping away all of the things that these clubs have struggled for years and some for decades to create. The coalition will be like added value to these existing clubs and it will help create new clubs as well.
At this time, we are seeking a large enough venue to hold a public meeting to create this coalition and in the 24 hours that I've been home, we already have $300 donated for a buffet and may soon have the use of location donated to us as well. I say "us" because I do have an associate state partner as well and we've been on the phone trying to arrange this meeting more than a couple of 16 year old girls before prom. This is something that has to happen now and not later. The sooner we can pull together and create this coalition, the sooner we can get to the actual planning and executing to create riding areas and/or trail systems in CT. This includes single track.
We are planning the coalition meeting for some time in mid December which is before a planned meeting on January 11th with several OHV friendly state representatives and a gentleman named Steve Salisbury from the AMA office in D.C. (yes, he's is coming to CT). The coalition meeting will be open to clubs and individuals interested in a positive outcome. Some may think this is a pipe dream but, it is most certainly not. I could write pages about the contacts I made while at the conference and how willing they were to help us create this.
We are still seeking sponsors for this meeting in forms of electronic equipment such as a PA system complete with microphones and a beverage sponsor.
I hope you will join us in creating this new entity and planning the future of all OHV use in CT. If you are interested in more information or want to provide assistance to the meeting, please contact me via email.
NOHVCC CT State Partner